Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Flowers and leather

I’m still happily trying my way through my perfume samples. Unhappily, at least for my wallet, I find new perfumes I want to sample too, so my wish list never seems to grow shorter.
Cyprus Musc from Creed, 1948 I don’t know how I managed to buy this one, as it’s a men’s perfume. The Perfumed Court describes it as “green and musky fragrance with notes of English mint and cypress” and I think that describes it very well. It’s not overtly masculine and could easily be worn by a woman. I liked it, but my darling dismissed it as “expensive soap”.

Fracas from Piguet, 1948 Top notes: Bergamot, mandarin, hyacinth, green notes
Heart notes: Tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, lily of the valley, white iris, violet, jonquil, carnation, coriander, peach, osmanthus, pink geranium
Base notes: Musk, cedar, oak moss, sandalwood, orris, vetiver, tolu balsam

I’ve read many glowing reviews on this perfume but on me I can only smell a generic flower perfume and I tried it twice just to make sure. But I’m really not a flowers gal, which I guess was proved when I tried;

Joy from Patou, 1930 Top Notes: Aldehydes, peach, leafy green
Heart notes: Rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose
Base Notes: sandalwood, musk, civet

This very famous rose scent really lives up to its name. Without a doubt it’s the nicest rose-smelling perfume I have ever encountered. Rounded, well-balance and very, very nice. And so not me. I just don’t like wearing perfume were rose is the main attraction. I would love to smell it on someone else, though.

One of my scent surprises when I started this foray into vintage perfume, has been the leather notes. It’s something that I have always connected with men’s perfume and on the few occasions I have tried modern perfumes with leather not, I haven’t liked them on me at all. However, leather notes in vintage perfumes works really well on me. I wonder why.

Bandit from Piquet, 1944 Top notes: Artemisia, bergamot, gardenia, aldehydes,
Heart notes: Jasmine, orris, rose, carnation
Base notes: Castoreum, patchouli, vetiver, myrrh, oak moss, amber, civet

First time I tried this one I just got a very strong flowery feel from it. Very strong and very acrid and not appealing at all. But I felt persistent and tried it again. Lo and behold, this time I just got the most wonderful leather scent. I can’t really detect any notes in it, but yes, there are flowers there, but now in the background, kindly providing a feminine context to the leather. It’s definitely a sexy scent, but not the ordinary kind of perfume sexy.


Lindsay Lane said...

Such a nice post!

Up Toon Girl said...

I love Bandit! It's one of my favourite perfumes, alongside Habanita by Molinard.

I really don't like most modern perfumes and thought that I just didn't enjoy scents until I stumbled across the world of vintage perfume.

Isis said...

Lindsay: Thank you!

Up Toon Girl: I haven't tried Habanita yet, but it is on my wish list. So far Tabac Blond is my favourite.

Same here. They give me headaches or they smell off, like stale flower water. I think it must be something syntethic in them.

Lillgull said...

I feel a little bit of a fool, but have to ask.. How do you get hold of these old treasures and if they are say 70 years old or older, how can you trust that the perfume hasn´t changed it´s scent over the years.

And this might not touch on the subject of finding the right scent but I feel I want to share this anyway.
My grandmother (on my mothers side)was born here in Stockholm Sweden in 1927 and she always adored two scents that she used as a young woman until she was an old lady. These two different scents were very popular in those days according to her.
I have intense memories attached to these two old perfumes; Shalimar and Diorissimo wich my grandmother loved and sprayed in all of their closets and in her purse and on her self a little behind the ears, of course. She is now gone for some years and in her last couple of years she did not wear perfume because of her bronkitis.
I miss her terribly, still.
Once on a bus I felt a distinguished whiff of Shalimar and at once I felt as if my grandmother was there right next to me. I did not know her memory was so strongly attached to that scent.
I have inherited a Hermes scarf, and a purse that still smells of diorissimo. So for me this is like feeling the embrase of her, with my nose. I can just hear her voice inviting me to lunch at NK. I wish they would smell as nice on me as on her but they dont. Haven´t tried Shalimar but I tried the one from dior and it wasn´t as warm and smooth as i remembered it on her. She loved lily of the valley. Maybe I should try a little bit of both...Maybe it was the mix!

Isis said...

Lillgull: Most of what I have I have bought at The Perfumed Court:

You can buy samples in various sizes an dit can be worth looking at their packages where you can buy samples of leather notes, or 40's perfumes or from a special brand. The Miniature Perfume Shoppe are suppsoed to be good, though I haven't purchased anything from them:

I'm also waiting to get some samples from Yesterday's Perfume:

A vintage perfume I really like, I love her reviews!

As for old perfume smelling as they did 70 years back- I don't even count on that. Perfume age and some do it better than other. I still think that you get a better impression to what it once was when you go to the old versions, rather than trying themodern version, as perfumes so often are radically changed over time.

Scent is such a wonderful way to retain memories- your memories of your grandmother are beautiful! My "farmor" used a perfume with patchouli, but I don't know if "mormor" used, but I remember vividly the soft powdery scent she seemed to have on her own- it felt very safe. :)

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